The William Jewell College basketball teams both came out as champions in exhibition games Sat., Nov. 15 after facing teams composed of veteran college players called Livin’ the Dream (LTD). The Cardinal women’s team kept a tight grip on the lead for the duration of the game and claimed victory with a score of 104-74. The men struggled behind LTD, but took advantage of the second half and won the game 79-69.
The exhibition game allows the teams to experiment strategies on the court. Playing against LTD brings a variety of competitors and skill levels to the court.
“It’s a really good experience,” Aerial Smith, senior, said. “Some of the girls that are on Livin’ the Dream played for D-I schools or MIAA schools, so it’s different than playing just the schools in our conference.”
Since exhibition games hold no weight on the season’s game record, it gave Head Coach Jill Cress the opportunity to put some new faces on the court.
“We have quite a few new players and having the opportunity to see them play against other players is beneficial,” said Cress.
The leading scorer was Katie Finn, first-year, racking up 22 points. Hannah Nicholay, first-year, made her share of baskets as she contributed 11 points to Jewell’s score.
The Cardinal women weren’t the only ones to put some new talent out on the court. The men’s team gained seven first-years this fall. Emil Ostafiiciuc, from Donduseni, Moldova, was the second leading scorer with 10 points.
“We have 10 new players on this year’s roster with three new starters in the line-up so we’re still trying to put the pieces together,” Head Coach Larry Holley said. “There is a lot of teaching as we learn more about our new players.”
The team ended the first half behind LTD 30-29. They pulled together for a Cardinal comeback, winning the game with 89 total points.
With fresh jerseys on the court and pre-season wins to their name, the Cardinal basketball teams can be expected to bring new enthusiasm and great triumphs this winter.
The first game of the women’s season against Avila University concluded in a Cardinal win of 84-52. Friday, Nov. 21, they will face Northwest Missouri State University. Tip off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in Maryville, Mo.
The men’s season-opening game will be Friday, Nov. 21, as they also face Northwest Missouri State University. The game tips off at 5:00 p.m. in in St. Joseph, Mo.